Amazon.com Widgets



Monday, November 9, 2009

Just one of those artsy-fartsy events, scattered around various locations locations througout Jerusalem. No big deal right? One catch: No Jews allowed. Peace without dialogue? Impossible

... last weekend I duly RSVP'd to a guests-only invitation to the Al-Quds Underground, touted as an unconventional festival with more than 150 small shows in private spaces in the Old City. Performances included music, storytelling, dancing, short acts and food. Locations were living rooms, a library, courtyards, gardens and more unique places. My expectation of a celebration of Jerusalem's diversity was dashed, however, when I arrived late Saturday afternoon at the Damascus Gate meeting point. Politely asked in English by Jamal Goseh, the director of the a-Nuzha Hakawati Theater near the American Colony Hotel, "Where do you live?" I responded in Arabic that I live in Jerusalem. From my accent and appearance, he discerned that I am an Israeli.

Al-Quds Underground's artistic director Merlijn Twaalfhoven of Amsterdam then told me, along with some Israeli peace activists who had arrived, that we were not welcome. My reply that I had been invited was to no avail, nor was my guarded threat to pen an expose of their racism.

And so here it is.

For the sake of fairness, I met Twaalfhoven the next day to allow him an opportunity to explain... or dig himself a deeper hole. (Goseh declined my request for an interview.) "We want to bring art to the world," he began. "I sometimes break through the boundaries between art and life. That is the core of my work."

A visionary creator of art happenings such as a dance performance at the Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah and the Long Distance Call concert on the rooftops of the Turkish half of the divided Cypriot city of Nicosia, Twaalfhoven said he had vaguely heard that the Arab League had chosen Jerusalem as Al-Quds 2009 Capital of Arab Culture and that the Israeli government had banned the festival as a political event forbidden under the Oslo Accords. "I don't know the details. I thought it was a good idea to bring people together."

Twaalfhoven then added, "The local people told me months ago that Israelis cannot go. Our team [of 12 Dutch activists and eight artists] had to promise that we would not allow peaceful Israelis to come."

Apologetic over what had happened, he then spilled the beans. The €50,000 project was funded by the European Union through the Dutch charity Cordaid and the Alexandria-based Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. To have said no to racism would have meant to scuttle the budget.

Al-Quds Underground's no-Israelis rule is part of a larger policy set by the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions National Committee. This BDS movement, founded in 2005, can take credit for the cancellation of Leonard Cohen's September concert at the Ramallah Cultural Palace...



3 Comments

"Our team [of 12 Dutch activists and eight artists] had to promise that we would not allow peaceful Israelis to come."

If you'd prefer some warlike Israelis, that can be arranged. There are a great many artists serving in the IDF; perhaps they could attend in uniform with their weapons?

In all seriousness, though -- an art event in Jerusalem that doesn't admit Israelis? Taking place, not just in Israel's capital, but in the Old City? They explicitly won't admit peace activists?

And the Israeli government (and the municipality of Jerusalem) permits this?

Remind me again, please, which side wants peace... and which side should be called racist and belligerent. Suddenly I'm having a little trouble keeping it straight.

Or, for perspective -- imagine Israelis wanting to have an event of any kind in Gaza City, to which Palestinians were not welcome. What, do you suppose, would be the response to that?

shaking my head in bewilderment,
DiB

The other thing is, exclusion is so anti-art. That goes also for the film boycott, university boycotts etc - it seems to be exactly what intellectuals and especially artists are trying to fight.

I guess when it comes to Israel though...

:(

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


Links



Blogroll Me!

:Blogs:
Adam Holland
Adloyada
Agam's Gecko
Amy Ridenour
Armies of Liberation
Astute Blogger
Backseat Blogger
Backspin
Barry Rubin
Blazing Cat Fur
BlueTruth
Boker tov, Boulder
Bosch Fawstin
Breath of the Beast
Challah Hu Akbar
CiF Watch
Cinnamon Stillwell
Classical Values
Combs Spouts Off
Conservative Grapevine
Conservative Oasis Contentions
Contentious Centrist
Cox & Forkum
Creeping Sharia
Dancing with Dogs
DANEgerus
Dave Bender
Davids Medienkritik
Dean Esmay
Defending Crusader
Democracy Project
Dodgeblogium
Dreams Into Lightning
Dutchblog Israel
Exit Zero
FresnoZionism
Ghost of a Flea
GM's Place
The God Blog
Huff-Po Monitor
Huff-Watch
Hyscience
In Context
Insignificant Thoughts
Iraq the Model
Israpundit
Israellycool
Israel Matzav
Israel Seen
J Street Jive
Jerusalem Diaries
Jerusalem Posts
Jewish State
JIDF
JPundit
Kesher Talk
Legal Insurrection
Liberty's Spirit
Marathon Pundit
The Marmot's Hole
Martin Kramer
Matthew K. Tabor
Mere Rhetoric
Michelle Malkin
Mick Hartley
Mind of Mog
My Machberet
My Wide Blue Seas
Never Yet Melted
Normblog
Omnia21
One Jerusalem
Paula Says
Philosemitism
Point of no Return
Political inSecurity
Random Thoughts
Ranting Sandmonkey
Red Planet Cartoons
Right Wing News
Roger L. Simon
Seraphic Secret
Shawarma Mayor
Shekel
Shining City
ShrinkWrapped
Simply Jews
Snapshots
Soccer Dad
A Soldier's Mother
Solomon's House
Something Something
Somewhere on A1A
Stand for Israel
Survival Tips: The Survivalist Blog
Tasty Infidelicacies
Tel Chai Nation
Texican Tattler
Themistocles' Shade
This Ain't Hell
TigerHawk
Tikkun Olam
Tom Glennon
Tools of Renewal
Tundra Tabloids
UCC Truths
Vicious Babushka
The View From Here
View From Iran
The World
Yaacov Lozowick
Yid With Lid
Yourish
Z-Word

:New England Blogs:
Alphecca
Augean Stables
Bebere
Bloodthirsty Liberal
Boston Maggie
Boston's Patriots
Boulevard Girl
Business of Life
Daniel in Brookline
Hub Blog
Hub Politics
Internet128
JRTelegraph
Jules Crittenden
Kavanna
Libertarian Leanings
Maggie's Farm
Miss Kelly
N.E. Republican
Neo-Neocon
People's Republicans
Petitedov
Pundit Review
Red Mass Group
Shawmut
Sippican Cottage
sisu
Squaring the Globe
Technicalities
Universal Hub
Weekend Pundit
Who Knew?




Blogroll Policy



If You Enjoy This Site
Paypal Donate

Amazon Purchase
(Buy yourself something with this link and I will get a percentage.)

My Amazon Wish List

Worth a Click

CJUI

APT

Graphics

Remember

Solomonia Button

Smaller Button

Smallest Button

Note on Permissions:
You may feel free to use anything you find on this site as long as you're not selling it. Just give credit where credit is due is all. Thanks for stopping by!

Site (C)2003-2009 Solomonia.com

This site will not display properly at screen resolutions of less than 1024px wide.

Solomonia Store


Search


Archives
Recommended

Authors

Solomon
Martin Solomon

MaryM
Mary Madigan

HillelS
Hillel Stavis

Binah
Binah

Jon Haber
Jon Haber

Sophia
Sophia

Opinions expressed are those of the individual. No one speaks for any organization unless expressly stated.

Subscribe
Enter your Email for a Daily Digest of New Posts


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz
(Be sure to whitelist feedblitz@mail.feedblitz.com if you aren't receiving updates.)

Click here for other subscription options, including Twitter, AIM, MSM and others.


Follow me on Twitter

Solomonia


rdf
rss2
atom

 Subscribe in a reader

Banner

EN 160x600 B

Quality Diamond Crosses